The Plight of Man
Iris appears as a remarkably beautiful elf, with skin the color of fresh snow and hair of the blackest midnight. Her eyes are twin orbs of a violet hue with occasional pinpricks of red light that appear when she becomes excited or hungry. Her canines are slightly extended and she has found that she enjoys the sensation of negative energy rippling across her skin and feels revitalized by it, but positive energy seems to burn her.
Iris began life in a world untouched by sunlight or any notion of good or fair. Throughout her life she has known only the darker emotions and learned to manipulate the base desires of the mind and of the flesh. She was born and raised in the Darklands metropolis of Zirnakaynin among all of the treachery and espionage of the Drow race and thrived in it. Her father, Zov Caldrana, is the only male leader of a noble house and she was his right hand when it came to dealing with those outside of the house. Her prestige did not garner her any sort of safety among her brethren and along with her unique appearance actually made her more of a target for those seeking to advance themselves through her death for Iris is a Szarkai, an albino drow, and the only of her kind among the Drow of Golarion. With the guidance of several of the great houses, she has become a wizard prodigy and is able to focus her magical abilities to destructive potential.
She enjoys the emotions she stirs within those that look upon her, especially the anger that her fair skin incites among her own kind. She has used the blinding anger of those that tried to end her life out of hatred to deal with many an assassin and considers it an honor to be so sought after just for her looks. While not exactly a kind man, her father is a man of family and protects them above all else, while they remain on his good side at least. One of her father’s first gifts to his daughter was a weapon of his own creation that was based off of models upon the surface world in an area known as the Mana Wastes. He called it a rifle and it was able to harness explosive powder to launch a shell at a target fast enough to burst even through the sturdiest metal armor. In the hands of his daughter, runes he had etched along the sides of the weapon flared to life and he found her able to propel her magical abilities in a violent burst just as easily as a metal shell and to an even more devastating effect.
Although Iris’s personality is one of sarcasm and cynicism, she has the utmost respect for her father and is never one to question him, even when she knows she is being lied to. Only once has she ever dared to question her father’s orders and for her disobedience it was also the first time she met her mother and the only time she has ever truly feared for her life. It was also the end of her time within the Darklands.
Iris knows little of her mother, but what she does know she has nightmares about every night. For Iris’s disobedience to her father and walking the city streets without any protection, Zov had her half-sisters toss her into the sealed vault of the Caldrana family. Inside the vault was Zov Caldrana’s most treasured possession and his darkest secret, Iris’s mother. Her mother was no drow and was no longer the noble elf that she used to be several hundred years ago. She was a druid and favored cleric of Calistria and one of the first elves to cross over back into Golarion. And the first of many to fall into the waiting hands of the Drow. She was tortured, beaten, and killed several times, each time brought back by dark magics and profane rituals. Handed over first to the drow torturers of the Demon Lord Shax of House Vexidyre, everything she knew was extracted from her, leaving only a broken mind. Once they were done with her, she was given over to and slain by the Matron Rasivrein, only to be resurrected as a vampire under the Matron Mother and serving House Rasivrein for several hundred years, committing thousands of atrocities in the name of the Demon Lord Zura against her will. After the Matron was killed in a coup, Iris’s mother once again had free will, though the evil she had been forced to witness and perform had corrupted her very soul. In the deep places of the city she stalked and murdered thousands. The drow took little notice as the slaves died in the hundreds, but once their own kind began to be hunted down, they took measures. Zov Caldrana was the one to find her and be instantly smitten as he danced with death. The vampire elf still retained all of her druidic powers and her ties with nature had shifted to embrace the dark and verminous nature of the underdark. Her claws were marred with poison that melted whatever it touched and her companions included even the ground itself. He tried and failed to kill her a dozen times and was finally successful when he trapped her with a team of several babau assassins and a balor from Flauros himself, Zov’s demonic patron. As he cleaved the elf’s head from her shoulders, her body dissipated into mist and he followed her to her coffin, a cement slab in the old palace of the Rasivrein Noble family. He had the slab moved to the center of the Caldrana fortress in Rygirnan and there used several contacts among house Azrinae to reform the vampire’s fractured mind. The Azrinae’s kept their word and their silence and the elf was restored to a sound mind. Her first act was to remove her taint of undeath with a resurrection ritual, one that was interrupted at a crucial point and left her living, but still craving the blood of those around her. Dimenional shackles kept the elf from leaving the halls of the Caldrana fortress and she became more or less of a prisoner once again, this time to Zov. Albeit one who had much say in the day to day happenings and who became Zov’s secret lover. The elf soon became pregnant with Iris and many of the other members of the Caldrana family were put past their breaking point, having wanted to kill the elf since the first mention.
So a plan was set into motion and on the day of Iris’s birth, the elven maiden who gave birth to her was stolen away as her Father went to announce and show the child to the family. The rebel members of House Caldrana were quick to wisk her away and give her to the mad fleshwarpers of House Parastric. Zov was quick to hunt down and immolate each renegade member, wiping their name from the family, but when he finally found his beloved, the fleshwarpers had finished with their masterpiece of agony. The elven maiden that had almost broken through the evil and hate of his heart and maybe even started him on the path to redemption stood before him, her form sculpted into a mad-eyed creature of deformed limbs, misplaced features, and jutting bone shards. As he stared, a soul-wrenching scream came from the fanged gash that now served as her mouth. The only tear Zov ever shed fell that day and with it the only ounce of good left him, replaced by a determination to perfect his craft and to devote himself to Flueros. Love brought only pain and pain was to be used as strength, not a weakness. He raised his daughter as a warrior and with the first signs of her magical aptitude sent her among several of the mages in the city to train in the Art. She quickly made him proud, but his pride only made him push her harder; a task she was only too happy to further herself.
This was all delivered to Iris’s mind as her mother attempted to coddle her daughter, several of her limbs turned into tentacles that burned the flesh with acid as they delivered the pain of her suffering to those she touched. With the pain came memories that flooded Iris’s mind and sent her body into spasms as the creature that was her mother continued to try to soothe her. When her father finally retrieved her, she was held limp within the branches of her mother, who had given her life to forego taking her daughters, on the cusp of death. Healers were brought immediately and iris was removed, but the memories given to her were not. When she finally awoke thirteen days later, she whispered in her father’s ear that Sarialyn Edasseril still loved him and with her death she can finally watch over him and their daughter. Iris then grabbed the rifles, pistols, and blades her father had forged for her and left for the surface at the request of her mother. Her father watched and for the second time in his life a tear strolled down his cheek. Though this one was a sign that his heart was not lost. He watched Iris leave and secretly made sure her journey to the surface was stopped by no one.